Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Knitting Review

Socks: 39 pairs
Slippers; 1
Baby Sweaters : 1
Baby Blankets: 3
Baby Booties: 1
Christmas Sweater Ornaments: 9
Hats: 3
Cowls: 6
Scarves: 4
Mittens; 2
Dishcloths: 5

(Mitered Square Sock Blanket: 142 squares for 2014, total 488)

Grand Total of knit items for 2015: 74 plus 142 squares

Favorite items:
 
Favorite photo prop for knitted item:
Craziest thing knit this year:
Favorite hand dyed item:
Dumbest mistake:
(Two left feet!)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

December's Christmas knitting

Because this blog is read by some of my Christmas gift recipients I was unable to show many of my December projects. I loved making these hats and cowls to go with the tee shirts:
Cowl Pattern: Incognito by Mercedes Tarasovich
Hat Pattern: Rib-A-Roni by Jane Tanner
Yarn: Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn! Solids, Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn Stripes
Colorway: Dark Olive, Green Camo, Black, Gray Mist
Needle size: US Size 7
I also knit the girls scarves and mittens:
 
Scarf Pattern: Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf by Karen Baumer
Mitten Pattern: Warmest Mittens by Kris Percival
Yarn: Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn Stripes and Solids
Colorway: Autumn Stripe, Dark Olive, Elements Flower, Gray Mist
Needles: US Size 5
Kate's cowl was slightly altered from the original pattern. I cast on 300 stitches with bigger needles and then doubled the pattern rows in the middle of the cowl until there was just enough yarn to finish a regular pattern sequence and cast off.
Pattern: Father Time Cowl by Steven Fegert
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Hand-Painted
Colorway: Make Believe
Needle Size: US Size 6

I had fun the month of December knitting quick items for the family. Many were used this vacation because we had plenty of snow to keep us all happy and in the holiday spirit!

Happy Christmas from Denmark

This year I signed up to participate in a Christmas card exchange with some virtual knitting friends. I was excited to be paired up with Silja from Denmark. We exchanged addresses and I quickly sent my card with a small knit Christmas ornament and Christmas stitch markers.

On the 26th, Christmas Number Two for us this year,  I received my card in the mail and was tickled to death to get an original work of art from Silja!  It is now framed and I'll bring out this "Happy Christmas" memory for years to come!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

"May The Force Be With You"

It took two attempts but all the boys finally got tickets to Star Wars and off they went while the girls decorated cookies and made their Great-Great-Grandmother Sadie's Peanut Butter Fudge,
And the Moms put their feet up and enjoyed a few hours of quiet!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Red Lodge Mountain where the skiing is great!

The Chick had been planning a ski trip for the grandkiddos since before Thanksgiving. The NorDak Kiddos were especially excited to go. There are few hills, let alone mountains for them to ski in their home state and this was to be their first skiing experience. By the time the first lesson was over, Sadie was told her next lesson should be a skills lesson. It took Isaac a little longer to catch on but thanks to Auntie Bri, The Tiger soon thought he could ski all night if the slope only would have only stayed open!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Number One and Two

The families came one at a time this year and so we had what became known as Christmas Number One on the 25th with The Chick and The NorDak Family followed by Christmas Number Two on the 26th with the additional California Dreamin' Family.

On Christmas Number One we spent a lot of time sledding in the gully in front of our house. At some point during the day, we heard this Christmas had a full moon for the first time in thirty nine years and there wouldn't be another full moon Christmas for another nineteen years. So what should a family do but mark this special occasion  with a nighttime sledding party!
 I didn't know this was on my bucket list until I checked it off! I also challenged the family to celebrate Christmas 2034 in the same manner!

The next day it was on to Christmas Number Two! We had a wonderful relaxed morning with brunch and opening packages.
Then it was off to the sledding hill once again, manmade sled jumps and all!
Even Gram and Grandpa got in on the action!
Everyone pitched in and dinner was a breeze...
California Dreamin' son-in-law has introduced a favorite English tradition, Crackers and this year's had a musical twist!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Last pair of socks 2015

This is the 38th pair of socks I've knit this year. WOW! For someone who thought knitting socks was crazy, I've really gone off the deep end! I now have a new philosophy, SOCKS ROCK!!

1) I still maintain socks take almost as long to knit as a sweater but even with the $30 a skein yarn they are much more economical to knit.
2) I can try unusual patterns and colorways. I'm enthusiastic about dyeing yarn for my socks but would hesitate to dye a sweater's worth of yarn.
3) Even if the recipient doesn't love the color or pattern knit into the socks they will wear the pair because they can easily be covered by boots and pants.

Knitting and knitted socks are the best!
I dyed this sock blank with blue and dotted stripes going horizontally. The next pair I dye I want to put the solid colors out either edge vertically with the dots of color in the center. I think it will produce narrower stripes.

Pattern: Pin Striped Socks by Julia Swart
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Blank
Colorway: Big Sky and Confetti Socks
Needle Size: US Size 1

Friday, December 18, 2015

Home Sweet Home!

It has taken longer than I thought to get the new siding up. Many months of waiting to get started and two months of the process, but finally we have our house back in one piece!

The siding is just a bit darker than the original and there is a new coat of paint on the front door:
The garage is now a three car garage. We took out a window and  when installing the new doors the one on the right became a two car garage. It is NOW finally big enough to house Hubby's truck!
In the spring we'll add the Juliet balcony at the side of the house and call it good. It will be fun to see what the family thinks!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

While knitting the Bunco Christmas Ornament Sweaters I remembered a small sweater of Mom's I had tucked away. Mom's penpal, Karin, made it for her many years ago. Karin lived in Norway and must have been a very talented knitter, just look at those socks!
They wrote to each other throughout their high school years until  WWII. In the midst of the war Karin's letters stopped arriving. Mom tried to get in contact with Karin after the war but was never able to find her.

The only evidence I have of their correspondence is this photo of Karin and the little sweater she knit and sent to Mom.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

No school! It's a SNOW DAY!!

I am told this is the first "no school day" since the governor closed schools statewide in 1980 when Mount St. Helens erupted. This eruption was on May 18th but as the ash drifted over Montana it looked like a snowy winter day with flakes softly falling to the ground. But today the school closure was because of real snow and very icy roads.

Just think of all the happy children, a  real Snow Day - they must think Santa has come early! I kept thinking about the movie "Snow Day" which is a favorite kids movie of mine, featuring the snowplow driver as the villian!

Just a half mile up the road a school bus slid off the road and caused all sorts of problems - including several wrecks, closing the road until the snowplow arrived (several hours).
 
This morning Hubby was happy to have his newly repaired four wheeler back home as he cleared the driveway and hill.
I think he was enjoying it just a bit!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Christmas Kitty

Denali's second Christmas.
One and a half years old

Monday, November 30, 2015

Good bye socks, hello scarves!

After putting my thirty ninth pair of socks this year in time out I began to wonder just what I was going to knit??!! I did a little searching and decided to explore scarf knitting.
Pattern: ZickZack Scarf by Cristy Kamm
Yarn: Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Serenity Sock Weight
Colorway: Chili and Violas
Needle Size: US Size 4

I used a larger needle than called for.

I’m very pleased with the way this scarf turned out. I used markers between the pattern repeats and perhaps they stretched the yarn a bit but this only makes the overall scarf even more pleasing!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Winter Cowl

Two summers ago I bought this hand dyed alpaca yarn in Helena at the Saturday Farmer's Market. I loved the yarn and pattern but was lazy getting started.  When I finally decided to get to work on the cowl the pattern was only available in German.  Because I was certain at one point the pattern had been available in English, I contacted the designer. She very kindly sent me the English version.

I did some modifications: Size 5 US needles, cast on 195 stitches in I-cord, knit the entire cowl in the round and didn't use beads on each vertical I-cord.

It looks great with my new gray coat.
Pattern: Loop-I-Lux
Yarn: Three Farmer's Wives Kitchen
Colorway: Gray
Needle Size: US Size 5

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Bunco Ornaments

I decided to include a little Christmas ornament in my cards to the Bunco Gals this year. Lord knows I have plenty of bits and pieces of yarn in every color!
 
Pattern:Mini Sweater Ornament with Cables by Emily 5446
Yarn: Cascade Heritage Sock, Fishknits Strong Heart, Lorna's Laces shepherd Sock Solid
Colorway: Red, Green, Fuji, White
Needles: US Size 1

Revised Pattern:
Cast on 30 stitches, and set up for a top down raglan sweater (2 stitches, marker, 10 stitches, marker, 3 stitches, (then if this is knitting in the round), on the other needle 2 stitches, marker, 10 stitches, marker, 3 stitches.
Rib (knit 1, purl 1) for 2 rows
Increase one stitch before and after each marker every other row until there are 20 stitches in the front and back sections.
Place the sleees on holders and knit in the rownd until the body is one inch long.
Rib (knit 1, purl 1) for 2 rows, bind off.
Pick up stitches of 1 sleeve and decrease 1 stitch every other row until there are 12 stitches. Knit until the sleeve is 1 inch long.
Rib (knit 1, purl 1) for 2 rows, bind off.
Do the same for the second sleeve. Work in ends.

I bought hangers online, which nearly killed me. First I went to several local stores with no results so I had to turn to the internet….The hangers were cheap, $4.00 for 9 hangers but the postage was $7.00. I tried to convenience myself in the end I saved money by not using the car.

I fell in love with these sweaters so much so that I am saving the rest of the yarn to make that Bunco Gals Christmas hats next year to match! 

Nine total! One for me - ‘cause I love them.